Monmouthshire County Council joined other local authorities across the UK as Commonwealth Day was marked by flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication.

Accompanying Monmouthshire’s Chairman, Councillor Jim Higginson and Leader, Councillor Peter Fox at County Hall in Usk were the High Sheriff of Gwent, Anthony Clay DL, the Bishop of Monmouth, the Right Reverend Richard Pain, the Mayor and Consort of Monmouth Town Council, Cllr and Mrs Chris Munslow, the Deputy Mayor of Usk Town Council, Cllr Glenn Rodick, Guy Lacy, the Principle of Coleg Gwent and the Chair of Governors of Coleg Gwent, Gwent Angela Lloyd.  In addition a number of county councillors and staff attended.

Councillor Fox read the Commonwealth affirmation committing the council to “uphold the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally, and internationally.”

Councillor Higginson read a message from the Commonwealth Secretary General and described how the ceremony provides a splendid opportunity for people from all walks of life to join with others in their local community to celebrate Commonwealth Day in association with fellow citizens.  He added that people from nations and territories across the world cherish the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s membership, the shared deep sense of affinity and the values and principles that unite nearly two and a half billion citizens.

Councillor Higginson was followed by the Right Reverend Richard Pain who provided prayers and the blessing.

The Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, with citizens drawn from all faiths and ethnicities, half of them under 25 years old.  Commonwealth countries are located in six regions – Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific.